ECHL to test goal replay for first time

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ESTERO, Fla. -

For the first time in league history the ECHL, the league which the Florida Everblades compete in, will test out instant video replays to review disputed goals.

The change comes on the heels of a disputed Everblades goal in game seven of the Kelly Cup Finals that was ultimately overturned, giving Colorado a chance at a comeback.

"You try to forget about last year, but yeah it was close," Everblades defenseman Logan Roe said.

Now, on the eve of a new season, the ECHL will be testing out a video replay system at arenas in Toledo, Ohio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Worchester, Massachusetts and Boise, Idaho.

"We want to try and model the NHL as much as we can," said Everblades Head Coach Brad Ralph.

"It is consensus around the league that we all want it. We just want to make sure that it’s efficient.”

Now even if a goal judge standing behind the glass lights the lamp to signal a goal, if the goal is in question, the replay will give referees the chance to take another look and make sure the puck crossed the line.

"Anything that can give you a clear sign and it’s definitive that will obviously kill any doubts that people might have," said Roe. "Make sure that things are going past the line and if not then it's not.”

Officials will also be allowed to review if a player used a high stick or a kicking motion to knock the puck into the net.

League officials hope this clears up any issues to avoid another game seven goal dispute.

"The play that was there in Florida, believe me, I was there sitting on that end, and I still couldn’t tell," ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst said.

"It mainly comes up in the playoffs, and it seems like every year we have something that comes up. Hopefully, this pilot program is going to say to teams let’s get it all set up.”

Ernst says the ECHL rule committee will present their findings from this trial program during the league meetings in January at the all-star game in Toledo. Then during the league meetings in June, if all goes according to plan, the owners will vote to install video replay systems at all 27 arenas around the ECHL.


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